2 Chronicles 26-28
King Uzziah of Judah(A)
26 All the people of Judah took Uzziah, who was 16 years old, and made him king in place of his father Amaziah. 2 Uzziah rebuilt Elath and returned it to Judah after King Amaziah lay down in death with his ancestors. 3 Uzziah was 16 years old when he began to rule, and he ruled for 52 years in Jerusalem. His mother was Jecoliah from Jerusalem. 4 He did what Yahweh considered right, as his father Amaziah had done. 5 He dedicated his life to serving Elohim in the days of Zechariah, who taught him to fear Elohim. As long as he dedicated his life to serving Yahweh, Elohim gave him success.
6 Uzziah went to wage war against the Philistines. He tore down the walls of Gath, Jabneh, and Ashdod. He built cities near Ashdod and elsewhere among the Philistines. 7 Elohim helped him when he attacked the Philistines, the Arabs who lived in Gur Baal, and the Meunites. 8 The Ammonites paid taxes to Uzziah, and his fame spread to the border of Egypt because he became very powerful. 9 Uzziah built towers in Jerusalem at Corner Wall, Valley Gate, and the Angle, and he reinforced them. 10 He built towers in the desert. He dug many cisterns because he had a lot of herds in the foothills and the plains. He had farmers and vineyard workers in the mountains and the fertile fields because he loved the soil.
11 Uzziah had an army of professional soldiers. They were ready to go to war in their companies based on the number organized by the scribe Jeiel and the officer Maaseiah. They were commanded by Hananiah, one of the king’s officials. 12 The total number of family heads among these warriors was 2,600. 13 Under them was an army of 307,500 soldiers. They were a powerful force that could support the king against the enemy. 14 For the entire army Uzziah prepared shields, spears, helmets, armor, bows, and stones for slings. 15 In Jerusalem he made machines designed by inventive people. The machines were placed on the towers and corners to shoot arrows and hurl large stones.
King Uzziah Is Cursed with a Skin Disease(B)
Uzziah’s fame spread far and wide because he had strong support until he became powerful. 16 But when he became powerful, his pride destroyed him. He was unfaithful to Yahweh his Elohim. He went into Yahweh’s temple to burn incense on the incense altar. 17 The priest Azariah went in after him with 80 of Yahweh’s courageous priests. 18 They opposed King Uzziah. They said to him, “Uzziah, you have no right to burn incense as an offering to Yahweh. That right belongs to the priests, Aaron’s descendants, who have been given the holy task of burning incense. Get out of the holy place because you have been unfaithful. Yahweh Elohim will not honor you for this.”
19 Uzziah, who held an incense burner in his hand, became angry. While he was angry with the priests, a skin disease broke out on his forehead. This happened in front of the priests in Yahweh’s temple as Uzziah was at the incense altar. 20 When the chief priest Azariah and all the priests turned toward him, a skin disease was on his forehead. They rushed him away. Uzziah was in a hurry to get out because Yahweh had inflicted him with the disease.
21 King Uzziah had a skin disease until the day he died. Since he had a skin disease, he lived in a separate house and was barred from Yahweh’s temple. His son Jotham was in charge of the royal palace and governed the country.
22 Everything else about Uzziah, from beginning to end, is recorded by the prophet Isaiah, son of Amoz. 23 Uzziah lay down in death with his ancestors and was buried with them in a field containing tombs that belonged to the kings. People said, “He had a skin disease.” His son Jotham succeeded him as king.
King Jotham of Judah(C)
27 Jotham was 25 years old when he began to rule. He ruled for 16 years in Jerusalem. His mother was Jerushah, daughter of Zadok. 2 He did what Yahweh considered right, as his father Uzziah had done. But unlike his father, he didn’t illegally enter Yahweh’s temple. Nevertheless, the people continued their corrupt ways.
3 Jotham built the Upper Gate of Yahweh’s temple and did extensive building of the wall at the Ophel. 4 He built cities in the hills of Judah, and he built forts and towers in the wooded areas. 5 He fought with the king of the Ammonites and conquered them. That year the Ammonites gave him 7,500 pounds of silver, 60,000 bushels of wheat, and 60,000 bushels of barley. The Ammonites gave him the same amount for two more years. 6 Jotham grew powerful because he was determined to live as Yahweh his Elohim wanted.
7 Everything else about Jotham—all his wars and his life—is written in the Book of the Kings of Israel and Judah. 8 He was 25 years old when he began to rule as king. He ruled for 16 years in Jerusalem. 9 Jotham lay down in death with his ancestors, and they buried him in the City of David. His son Ahaz succeeded him as king.
King Ahaz of Judah(D)
28 Ahaz was 20 years old when he began to rule. He ruled for 26 years in Jerusalem. He didn’t do what Yahweh considered right, as his ancestor David had done. 2 He followed the example of the kings of Israel and even made metal idols for worshiping other gods—the Baals. 3 He burned sacrifices in the valley of Ben Hinnom and sacrificed his son by burning him alive, one of the disgusting things done by the nations that Yahweh had forced out of the Israelites’ way. 4 He offered sacrifices and burned incense as an offering at the illegal worship sites, which were on hills and under every large tree.
5 So Yahweh his Elohim handed him over to the king of Aram, who defeated him, captured many prisoners, and brought them to Damascus. He also handed him over to the king of Israel, who decisively defeated him. 6 In one day Pekah, son of Remaliah, killed 120,000 soldiers in Judah because they had abandoned Yahweh Elohim of their ancestors. 7 Zichri, a fighting man from Ephraim, killed Maaseiah, who was the king’s son, Azrikam, who was in charge of the palace, and Elkanah, who was the king’s second-in-command. 8 The Israelites captured 200,000 women, boys, and girls from their relatives the Judeans. They also took a lot of goods from Judah and brought them to Samaria.
9 A prophet of Yahweh named Oded was there. He went to meet the army coming home to Samaria. He said to them, “Yahweh Elohim of your ancestors handed Judah over to you in his anger. You killed them in a rage that reaches up to heaven. 10 Now you intend to enslave the men and women of Judah and Jerusalem. But aren’t you also guilty of sinning against Yahweh your Elohim? 11 Listen to me. Return these prisoners you have captured from your relatives, because Yahweh is very angry with you.”
12 Then Azariah, son of Jehohan, Berechiah, son of Meshillemoth, Jehizkiah, son of Shallum, and Amasa, son of Hadlai (some leaders of Ephraim) opposed those coming home from the army. 13 They said to the army, “Don’t bring the prisoners here. You’ll make us responsible for this sin against Yahweh. Do you intend to add to all our sins? Yahweh is very angry with Israel because we have already sinned.”
14 So the army left the prisoners and the loot in front of the leaders and the whole assembly. 15 Then the men who were mentioned by name took charge of the prisoners and gave clothes from the loot to all the prisoners who were naked. They provided clothes for them, gave them sandals, gave them something to eat and drink, and let them bathe. They put everyone who was exhausted on donkeys and brought them to Jericho (the City of Palms) near their own people. Then they returned to Samaria.
16 At that time King Ahaz sent for help from the kings of Assyria. 17 The Edomites had again invaded and defeated Judah and captured prisoners. 18 The Philistines had raided the foothills and the Negev in Judah. They captured and began living in Beth Shemesh, Aijalon, Gederoth, Soco and its villages, Timnah and its villages, and Gimzo and its villages. 19 Yahweh humbled Judah because of King Ahaz of Israel. Ahaz had spread sin throughout Judah and was unfaithful to Yahweh.
20 King Tillegath Pilneser of Assyria attacked Ahaz. Instead of strengthening Ahaz, Tillegath Pilneser made trouble for him. 21 Ahaz took some of the things from Yahweh’s temple, the royal palace, and the princes, and he gave them to the king of Assyria. But that didn’t help him. 22 When he had this trouble, King Ahaz became more unfaithful to Yahweh. 23 He sacrificed to the gods of Damascus, the gods who had defeated him. He thought, “The gods of the kings of Aram are helping them. I’ll sacrifice to them so that they will help me.” But they ruined him and all Israel.
24 Ahaz collected the utensils in Elohim’s temple, cut them up, and closed the doors to Yahweh’s temple. He made altars for himself on every corner in Jerusalem. 25 And in each city of Judah, he made places of worship to sacrifice to other gods. So he made Yahweh Elohim of his ancestors angry.
26 Everything else about him—everything from beginning to end—is written in the Book of the Kings of Judah and Israel. 27 Ahaz lay down in death with his ancestors and was buried in the city of Jerusalem because they didn’t put him into the tombs of the kings of Israel. His son Hezekiah succeeded him as king.
Obey the Government
13 Every person should obey the government in power. No government would exist if it hadn’t been established by God. The governments which exist have been put in place by God. 2 Therefore, whoever resists the government opposes what God has established. Those who resist will bring punishment on themselves.
3 People who do what is right don’t have to be afraid of the government. But people who do what is wrong should be afraid of it. Would you like to live without being afraid of the government? Do what is right, and it will praise you. 4 The government is God’s servant working for your good.
But if you do what is wrong, you should be afraid. The government has the right to carry out the death sentence. It is God’s servant, an avenger to execute God’s anger on anyone who does what is wrong. 5 Therefore, it is necessary for you to obey, not only because you’re afraid of God’s anger but also because of your own conscience.
6 That is also why you pay your taxes. People in the government are God’s servants while they do the work he has given them. 7 Pay everyone whatever you owe them. If you owe taxes, pay them. If you owe tolls, pay them. If you owe someone respect, respect that person. If you owe someone honor, honor that person.
Love One Another
8 Pay your debts as they come due. However, one debt you can never finish paying is the debt of love that you owe each other. The one who loves another person has fulfilled Moses’ Teachings. 9 The commandments, “Never commit adultery; never murder; never steal; never have wrong desires,” and every other commandment are summed up in this statement: “Love your neighbor as you love yourself.” 10 Love never does anything that is harmful to a neighbor. Therefore, love fulfills Moses’ Teachings.
11 You know the times in which we are living. It’s time for you to wake up. Our salvation is nearer now than when we first became believers. 12 The night is almost over, and the day is near. So we should get rid of the things that belong to the dark and take up the weapons that belong to the light. 13 We should live decently, as people who live in the light of day. Wild parties, drunkenness, sexual immorality, promiscuity, rivalry, and jealousy cannot be part of our lives. 14 Instead, live like the Lord Yeshua Christ did, and forget about satisfying the desires of your corrupt nature.
A psalm by David.
1 Yahweh is my Roeh.
I am never in need.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside peaceful waters.
3 He renews my soul.
He guides me along the paths of righteousness
for the sake of his name.
4 Even though I walk through the dark valley of death,
because you are with me, I fear no harm.
Your rod and your staff give me courage.
5 You prepare a banquet for me while my enemies watch.
You anoint my head with oil.
My cup overflows.
6 Certainly, goodness and mercy will stay close to me all the days of my life,
and I will remain in Yahweh’s house for days without end.
11 Even a child makes himself known by his actions,
whether his deeds are pure or right.